no babies were harmed.

I am brave enough to say that we did it. Or we are, at the very least, nearly there.
We are just this close to having two GREAT sleepers in this household.
And no babies were harmed in the making of this great sleeper.
You want to know how we did it?
I'll tell you, but if you don't like to hear about babies crying...then you might want to move on.

Here is the before:
Aaron to bed at 5ish...waking up 2-3 times through the night. 30 minute naps through the day...only able to happily be awake for about an hour at a time. Never going to sleep quietly. Kinda grumpy. Waking up crying. Always awake for the morning by 5:30-6ish. He was on the right road pre-vacation but since then his sleeping was a disaster.

How we fixed it:

Up for the day between 6 and 7am.
Keep up for about 1 hour 45minutes...watching for signs of tiredness.
Put him down after NO MORE than two hours awake.
When we put him down, go through the same routine every time.
Put him down wide awake and happy.
Walk away. Even if he cries.
Usually he would fall asleep after a few minutes of fussing/crying but then wake up after a 30 minute nap.
Our pediatrician confirmed that this is not enough for any baby.
So, after he awoke from the 3o minute nap...I left him alone for up to an hour.
Yep.
A whole hour.
And you know what.
Sometimes he cried for the WHOLE hour.
But 95% of the time he fell back to sleep...for another 45minutes to TWO HOURS!

We repeat this process for EVERY nap time...which, now, is only three naps a day...the age appropriate amount.

At night, we put him down for the night...and only go to him once...at a general predetermined time.
I won't go to him before midnight.
He will cry for a few minutes but then settles back down.

And I won't go get him in the AM before 6am. He tried sometimes to wake up before then...but after a few minutes of crying...usually went back to sleep for an hour or more.

Now:

He goes to bed for the night around 6pm...give or take 30 minutes.

He only gets up once...usually around 2 or 3am.

He wakes for the day around 6:30...and I still won't go to him before 6am...no matter what. If you don't do this...babies will tend to want to get up earlier and earlier. Aaron did this pre-reform! :)

He NOW goes down for naps without a peep for the most part. I put him down happy and he puts himself to sleep. No rocking, or paci, or anything.
He wakes up talking and cooing...not crying like before.
He will sleep for 1 1/2hours to 2 hours OR MORE per nap!
He is more content, happy and can "play" on his own more.

I know some are very anti cry it out.
But it works. I has worked for us twice.
It was harder this time with Aaron than it was with Moses...Moses got it in about 24 hours...where Aaron has taken days.

Some people say that I am missing out on the special time that you have when you rock your baby to sleep...well, what is special to me is that my babies can put themselves to sleep. I have plenty of special moments with my boys throughout the day.

Some say that letting a baby cry is mean and cruel.
It is more cruel to me to NOT teach my child good sleeping skills...that will serve him for YEARS. I know he needs that sleep to learn and grow. And I will do what it takes to teach him.

FYI-this plan was fully supported and encouraged by our pediatrician and is based on the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child.

In other news...here's a new skirt colorway in the shop.
And lots of pillows that got finished this weekend...
Along with a new door we made for our little shed...the last project for the backyard. :)
It was a nice...looong, relaxing weekend. :)

Hope yours was just as lovely!

xo
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19 comments:

Candice said...

wow, you went through a lot to get that cutie to sleep, I know it was all worth it now. I love the pillows and skirts. So you have such great advice, I am going to start potty training soon, any advice? Thanks for sharing with us.

torinem said...

First, I have to say I love your name pillows, they are all so stinking cute! Second, good for you getting that little guy to sleep! We used the same sort of method for both our girls and they both slept through the night (7 hours ish) by the time they were 3 months old. They are perfectly healthy, happy toddlers now and the few nights of crying they had to endure did not damage them in any way :) It is definitely a personal choice as to how you choose to get your kids to sleep, but I am glad to hear that this method is working for you!

Courtney said...

i think this will be very encouraging to lots of moms!! thanks for sharing!

we did this successfully with 4 kids. and, it makes it SO nice to go away with them - it's not stressful! we (all 6 of us!) slept in the same hotel room for 2 nights just last week...and we all slept WELL!

it's TOTALLY worth it!

sara said...

I have 3 boys who are great sleepers using a similar method...mostly just getting them on a good schedule. I see so many young mommas with fussy babies that just need more sleep! If I could tell other moms anything, it would be get your baby on a schedule! A few days or weeks of trial = years of children sleeping well. People (friends, family, sitters) always remark on how well my boys go to sleep. They have no trouble going to sleep for others. It's the scheduling! Also, about not getting to bond while rocking them to sleep....you're getting to bond every time you feed him! Anyhow, just wanted to say, good job! It's so worth it, isn't it? :)

Sara said...

I just love the pillows and can't wait to try out my skirt! Love it!

Neisey said...

Good job! I'm glad everything is going good for you and your family. I'm sure your home is very peaceful, now that everyone is on a schedule. Cute pillows. :)

Lauren said...

Just wanted to let you know that our story with Caleb is almost exactly the same. He just wouldn't take a nap for more than 30 minutes. Now, I put him in the bed after he's been up for 2 hours and walk away. I usually go downstairs and do laundry. This drowns out any noise that may be happening upstairs in the nursery. It has made a tremendous difference in him and me! =)

meg duerksen said...

good for you.
you are a stronger woman than me. i was trying to remember those days and i think i was just so out of it...that having plan like this is more than i could ever have thought of. so good job!
he is probably so much happier with all that sleep.
i would be.
love yuor skirts and pillows. :)

Amanda said...

What a great detailed post! KUDOS to you to getting him to sleep. I can't stand the parents that think there is NO WAY their child should cry, and then sit around and complain because they're so tired. Or their kid won't let them put them down so they can't get anything done! Your child will be fine! Good job!

dixie said...

i am a firm believer in crying it out. we only have one child but it worked like a charm with her. seriously, i think she only "cried it out" 2 or 3 times before she understood we wouldn't cave. kudos to you!!

number17cherrytreelane said...

You are speaking my language! I knew that I liked you--we did the same thing with Miss K and she has slept from 8 weeks on. It is a good things to give your child the gift of sleep!!! Way to go!

~ Lisa @ AbidingThere~ said...

The same method worked for our family four times. Glad you little guy is sleeping well now.

I love, love, love those pillows. I have really been wanting one for my own bed and I keep going to your shop to look some more. Hope I get to order one soon :)

Katy Frame (Kate Creates) said...

Would you ever consider doing tutorials? I don't care what it's of.. I just think it would be fun to see one from you! :)

MAXimum MESS said...

I love your patchwork skirt! I'm actually an advocate for co-sleeping, which we did for the first six months. We were going to co-sleep for a year, but we found that after six months, our little guy loves having his own sleeping space in his crib. About two weeks after the transition, we started letting him cry, but put a fifteen minute cap on it. Most of the time, he either went back to sleep or was just ready to get up and play. Our little man sleeps through the night and takes two great naps during the day. Good for you for figuring out what works best for your kids and family.

Sara said...

You're very smart to have picked up on this with child #1.. it took me till #3 to learn. And, if I ever had any more kids I would do it again! I find that my third baby wakes up happier than the other two did too.

mommyholly said...

Good for you, girlie!!! I am definitely a "let him cry" momma and always have been, even when Andrew was relatively tiny. Babies NEED routine and they NEED steady sleep habits, so you are definitely letting your boys benefit from the healthy sleep schedule, along with giving yourself time in the evening!!! You are an awesome momma! xoxox Holly

Jaime said...

I wanted to let you know that I love, LOVE, love that book you mentioned and it has worked so well for my two boys too. One son was harder than the other, but we are all happy and well rested and they are great nappers to this day (knock on wood). And as always, your creations are lovely!!

Jennifer said...

I know you got a flack for your crying-it-out choice but you inspired me to finally move my TEN month old guy into his crib. Yes he cried, but he slept through the night...for the first time! Did I mention he was 10 months? *MY* mama guilt was for not doing it sooner! Certainly not because I let him cry. We've made it two nights now. Thanks! Oh, and *super* cute skirt too!

SarahRachel said...

YAY Aaron!! =) I totally agree with everything you said!! Jackson is still a ROCKSTAR sleeper at 3 because we did all t he same stuff you did. I'm totally looking forward to Chase being old enough to start sleep training, too. LOVE your skirt and pillows. So beautiful!!

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